Category: Mark’s Blog
We stand on the threshold of taking possession of the land the Lord is giving us, like the people of Israel in Joshua Chapter 3, on the night before they crossed the Jordan. Like them, we need to take this moment in and consecrate ourselves, ‘for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’ (Joshua 3:5). Are we ready for this? On the other side of the Jordan, once the stones were piled up, a whole lot of fighting began. Are we in fighting spirit? Have we the stomach for the fight?
If we don’t, we can still obey the Lord, by consecrating ourselves and asking Him to come in by His Spirit and impart something into us that will make the difference. Then we go in our frailty, inadequacy and unpreparedness and wait for God to show us just what He can do with a group of people who get right with Him, bind themselves together in prayer, and make themselves available to the world.
Watch this space! Watch and pray and see if the Lord will not take our breath away with what He has in store for us, and, more importantly, for them. May our battle cry be ‘Them, not Us’. Their needs over our own. Our lives spent for their salvation. This is the heartbeat of the Gospel. This is the very thing we are being called into. Let’s take a moment to stand on the bank of the great river we are about to cross and wonder at what is about to happen. This moment will not last much longer…
We’ve come to the end of the 30-week ‘Believe’ series, probably the longest series we’ve ever undertaken at DCF. Thank you everyone for your patience as this series has unfolded over the last year or so. As we moved through ‘Believe’, it become clearer and clearer to us that this material is not a ‘to-do’ list, but a ‘manifesto of grace’ – a summary of what we now are in Christ, and not of what we need to ‘try’ to believe. In fact, because of Jesus, we just need to live like we believe it is true because it is our new reality. We don’t need try to make it our new reality, as if it’s still about our effort; it’s all about Jesus’ performance, not ours.
At DCF, we continue to emphasise that discipleship is not a course, as a course will only ever be a pale shadow of the real thing. Courses are very helpful, but can reinforce the false idea that discipleship is really solely about having more information, or having the right information. Of course, we need to know some new information, but let’s never assume that is what we are pursuing. The ‘What’ we are pursuing is actually a ‘Who’.
To summarise all that we have learnt over recent years – discipleship is hard to describe or pin down because it is not a thing. It is intentional godly relationship itself. Such relationship is not merely a means to achieve discipleship, nor simply the result of discipleship, but discipleship itself. This is because we have a relational God, who can only ever be described in relational terms; some might even dare to suggest that God is so relational that, to some extent, He is His relationships. And the big idea of the Universe, what we call ‘the Gospel’, is that we are invited to enter into this relationality which is the very source of all things.
Now that’s a big idea to come to terms with as we reflect once more upon the God who became a human baby …